>> reporter: for joe selvaggio, holmes is a star client, a 41- year-old mother of three who was able to turn an earlier life of chemical dependency and cancer, so far, selvagio has disbursed more than $2 million in $1,000 grants. he gets funds from foundations and many wealthy minnesotans he got to know from his days as a priest. >> these are entrepreneurs that have made money, you know, on their own and they... they appreciate the, you know, principles of responsibility, accountability, production, getting, you know, business principles of delivering a quality product on time at a reasonable price. >> reporter: grameen america's c.e.o. vogel, himself a successful entrepreneur who also founded a private equity firm, says it's critical that small enterprises be nurtured among low-income americans. it's not just the best bet for people in poverty, he says; its often the only option. >> they can't get a job. jobs are very tight. overtime is very tight.